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The Wizard of Oz
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The Wizard of Oz (1939) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
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MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 54% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
Noel Langley (screenplay) &
Florence Ryerson (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Wizard of Oz on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 August 1939 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
Mighty Miracle Show Of 1000 Delights ! See more »
Plot:
Dorothy Gale is swept away to a magical land in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard who can help her return home. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 12 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Wiz of a film, if ever a Wiz there was See more (490 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Judy Garland ... Dorothy

Frank Morgan ... Professor Marvel / The Wizard of Oz / The Gatekeeper / The Carriage Driver / The Guard

Ray Bolger ... 'Hunk' / The Scarecrow

Bert Lahr ... 'Zeke' / The Cowardly Lion

Jack Haley ... 'Hickory' / The Tin Man

Billie Burke ... Glinda

Margaret Hamilton ... Miss Gulch / The Wicked Witch of the West

Charley Grapewin ... Uncle Henry
Pat Walshe ... Nikko
Clara Blandick ... Auntie Em

Terry ... Toto (as Toto)
The Singer Midgets ... The Munchkins (also as The Munchkins)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dorothy Barrett ... Emerald City Manicurist (uncredited)
Amelia Batchelor ... Ozmite (uncredited)
Charles Becker ... Munchkin Mayor (uncredited)

Billy Bletcher ... Mayor / Lollipop Guild Member (voice) (uncredited)
Lorraine Bridges ... Ozmite / Lullaby League Member (voice) (uncredited)
Buster Brodie ... Winged Monkey (uncredited)
Tyler Brooke ... Ozmite (uncredited)
Candy Candido ... Angry Apple Tree (voice) (uncredited)
Mickey Carroll ... Munchkin Fiddler (uncredited)

Adriana Caselotti ... Juliet (voice) (uncredited)
Harry Cogg ... Winged Monkey (uncredited)
Pinto Colvig ... Munchkins (voice) (uncredited)
Nona Cooper ... Munchkin Villager (uncredited)
Tommy Cottonaro ... Bearded Munchkin (uncredited)
Jimmy the Crow ... Crow in Cornfield (uncredited)
Billy Curtis ... Munchkin Father (uncredited)
Paul Dale ... Lollipop Guild Member (uncredited)
Ken Darby ... Munchkinland Mayor (voice) (uncredited)
Sid Dawson ... Winged Monkey (uncredited)
Abe Dinovitch ... Apple Tree / Munchkin (voice) (uncredited)
Jon Dodson ... Lollipop Guild Member (voice) (uncredited)
Gracie Doll ... Munchkin Villager (uncredited)
Tiny Doll ... Munchkin Villager (uncredited)
Ruth Duccini ... Munchkin Villager (uncredited)
Daisy Earles ... Munchkin Villager (uncredited)
Harry Earles ... Lollipop Guild Member (uncredited)

Buddy Ebsen ... The Tin Man (singing voice) (uncredited)
Fern Formica ... Munchkin Villager / Sleepyhead (uncredited)
Sig Frohlich ... Winged Monkey (uncredited)
Jackie Gerlich ... Lollipop Guild Member (uncredited)
Phil Harron ... Winkie (uncredited)
Charles Irwin ... Tin Polisher (uncredited)
Lois January ... Emerald City Manicurist (uncredited)
Eleanor Keaton ... Ozmite (uncredited)
The King's Men ... Munchkins (voice) (uncredited)

Karl 'Karchy' Kosiczky ... Munchkin Herald #1 / Sleepyhead (uncredited)
Nita Krebs ... Lullaby League Member (uncredited)
Ethelreda Leopold ... Emerald City Manicurist (uncredited)
Mitchell Lewis ... Captain of the Winkie Guard (uncredited)
Bud Linn ... Lollipop Guild Member (voice) (uncredited)
Jerry Maren ... Lollipop Guild Member (uncredited)
Dona Massin ... Emerald City Manicurist (uncredited)
George Ministeri ... Munchkin Coach Driver (uncredited)
Yvonne Moray ... Lullabye League Member (uncredited)
Lee Murray ... Winged Monkey (uncredited)
Olga Nardone ... Lullabye League Center Member (uncredited)
George Noisom ... Winged Monkey (uncredited)
Jack Paul ... Winged Monkey (uncredited)
Margaret Pellegrini ... Munchkin Villager / Sleepyhead (uncredited)

Meinhardt Raabe ... Munchkin Coroner (uncredited)
Freddie Retter ... Munchkin Fiddler (uncredited)
'Little Billy' Rhodes ... Munchkin Barrister (uncredited)
The Rhythmettes ... Themselves (uncredited)
Elvida Rizzo ... Ozmite (uncredited)
Rad Robinson ... Munchkin Coroner (voice) (uncredited)
Ambrose Schindler ... Winkie (uncredited)
Helen Seamon ... Woman with Cat (uncredited)
Rolfe Sedan ... Oz Balloon Ascensionist (uncredited)
Oliver Smith ... Ozmite (uncredited)
Robert St. Angelo ... Winkie (uncredited)
Parnell St. Aubin ... Munchkin Soldier (uncredited)
Ralph Sudam ... Ozmite (uncredited)
August Clarence Swenson ... Munchkin Soldier (uncredited)
Harry Wilson ... Winkie (uncredited)
Johnny Winters ... Munchkin Navy Commander (uncredited)
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Directed by
Victor Fleming 
George Cukor (uncredited)
Mervyn LeRoy (uncredited)
Norman Taurog (uncredited)
King Vidor (director: Kansas scenes) (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
Noel Langley (screenplay) &
Florence Ryerson (screenplay) and
Edgar Allan Woolf (screenplay)

Noel Langley (adaptation)

L. Frank Baum (from the book by)

Irving Brecher  contributing writer (uncredited)
William H. Cannon  uncredited
Herbert Fields  contributing writer (uncredited)
Arthur Freed  uncredited
Jack Haley  additional dialogue (uncredited)
E.Y. Harburg  uncredited
Samuel Hoffenstein  contributing writer (uncredited)
Bert Lahr  additional dialogue (uncredited)
John Lee Mahin  contributing writer (uncredited)
Herman J. Mankiewicz  contributing writer (uncredited)
Jack Mintz  contributing writer (uncredited)
Ogden Nash  contributing writer (uncredited)
Robert Pirosh  contributing writer (uncredited)
George Seaton  contributing writer (uncredited)
Sid Silvers  contributing writer (uncredited)

Produced by
Mervyn LeRoy .... producer
Arthur Freed .... associate producer (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Harold Rosson (photographed by: in Technicolor)
 
Film Editing by
Blanche Sewell 
 
Casting by
Leonard Murphy (uncredited)
 
Production Design by
Malcolm Brown (uncredited)
William A. Horning (uncredited)
Jack Martin Smith (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
George Gibson (uncredited)
Wade B. Rubottom (uncredited)
Elmer Sheeley (supervising art director) (uncredited)
 
Set Decoration by
Edwin B. Willis (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Adrian (costumes)
 
Makeup Department
Jack Dawn .... creator: character makeups
Del Armstrong .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Don L. Cash .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Jack Dawn .... makeup artist: Frank Morgan (uncredited)
Lyle Dawn .... makeup artist: Billie Burke (uncredited)
Max Factor .... wig supervisor (uncredited)
Fred Frederick .... wig designer (uncredited)
Sydney Guilaroff .... braids: Dorothy (uncredited)
Cecil Holland .... makeup department head (uncredited)
Jack Kevan .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Lou LaCava .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
George Lane .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Beth Langston .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Emile LaVigne .... makeup artist: Jack Haley (uncredited)
Betty Masure .... body makeup artist (uncredited)
Norbert A. Myles .... makeup artist: Ray Bolger (uncredited)
Gustaf Norin .... prosthetic technician (uncredited)
Josef Norin .... prosthetic sculptor (uncredited)
Web Overlander .... makeup artist: Judy Garland (uncredited)
Fred B. Phillips .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Eddie Polo .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Mike Ragan .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Bob Roberts .... wig designer (uncredited)
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Charles H. Schram .... makeup artist: Bert Lahr (uncredited)
Howard Smit .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Lee Stanfield .... makeup artist: Jack Haley (uncredited)
William Tuttle .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Edith Wilson .... body makeup artist (uncredited)
Jack H. Young .... makeup artist: Margaret Hamilton (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Ulric Busch .... unit production manager (uncredited)
Charles Chic .... unit manager (uncredited)
Joe Cook .... production manager (uncredited)
Louis B. Mayer .... executive in charge of production (uncredited)
Keith Weeks .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Al Shenberg .... assistant director (uncredited)
Wallace Worsley Jr. .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
William A. Horning .... associate art director
Jack E. Ackerman .... props (uncredited)
E. Preston Ames .... draftsman (uncredited)
Leo F. Atkinson .... painter: clouds (uncredited)
Hugo Ballin .... sketch artist (uncredited)
John Bossert .... designer: castle (uncredited)
Malcolm Brown .... sketch artist (uncredited)
Edward C. Carfagno .... draftsman (uncredited)
John Coakley .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Conklin .... draftsman (uncredited)
Marvin Connell .... draftsman (uncredited)
Randall Duell .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Harry Edwards .... property master (uncredited)
A.D. Flowers .... set dresser: trees (uncredited)
Jack Gaylord .... propmaker foreman (uncredited)
George Gibson .... lead scenic artist (uncredited)
William Gibson .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Harvey T. Gillett .... draftsman (uncredited)
Henry Greutert .... head sculptor (uncredited)
Clem Hall .... scenic artist (uncredited)
William Hellen .... draftsman (uncredited)
F. Wayne Hill .... scenic artist (uncredited)
K. Johnson .... draftsman (uncredited)
Roy Perry .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Clark M. Provins .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Ted Rich .... draftsman (uncredited)
Arthur Grover Rider .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Gerald F. Rocket .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
Jim Roth .... draftsman (uncredited)
Billy H. Scott .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Jack Martin Smith .... principal sketch artist (uncredited)
Duncan Spencer .... scenic artist (uncredited)
J. Russell Spencer .... draftsman (uncredited)
Steffgen .... draftsman (uncredited)
Charles B. Steiner .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Marvin Summerfield .... draftsman (uncredited)
John J. Thompson .... draftsman (uncredited)
Leonid Vasian .... draftsman (uncredited)
Woody Woodward .... draftsman (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
James Burbridge .... sound technician (uncredited)
G.A. Burns .... production sound mixer (uncredited)
Earl Cates .... playback operator (uncredited)
O.O. Ceccarini .... sound designer (uncredited)
Bill Edmondson .... boom operator (uncredited)
James F. Gaither Jr. .... boom operator (uncredited)
James Graham .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
T.B. Hoffman .... sound editor (uncredited)
Van Allen James .... apprentice sound editor (uncredited)
Lowell Kinsall .... sound mixer (uncredited)
Standish J. Lambert .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Frank McKenzie .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Franklin Milton .... special sound effects (uncredited)
Ralph A. Pender .... dialogue editor (uncredited)
George G. Schneider .... sound mixer (uncredited)
Douglas Shearer .... sound designer (uncredited)
Robert Shirley .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Ralph Shugart .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Newell Sparks .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
William Steinkamp .... supervising re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Michael Steinore .... supervising sound editor (uncredited)
P. Richard Stevens .... sound recordist (uncredited)
R.L. Stirling .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Don T. Whitmer .... sound mixer (uncredited)
John A. Williams .... sound mixer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
A. Arnold Gillespie .... special effects (as Arnold Gillespie)
Edwin Bloomfield .... special effects supervisor (uncredited)
Marcel Delgado .... miniatures (uncredited)
A.D. Flowers .... special effects assistant (uncredited)
Donald Jahraus .... miniatures (uncredited)
J. McMillan Johnson .... senior special effects technician (uncredited)
Mack Johnson .... special effects (uncredited)
Jack McMaster .... special effects (uncredited)
Hal Millar .... special effects (uncredited)
Bob Overbeck .... special effects crew (uncredited)
Glen Robinson .... special effects prop shop (uncredited)
Don Trumbull .... special effects rigger (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Chad Cortvriendt .... stereoscopic production manager (3D version 2013)
Chris Del Conte .... managing director: stereoscopic conversion (3D version 2013)
Jason Dourgarian .... stereoscopic compositor (3D version 2013)
Scott Farrar .... stereo conversion producer: Prime Focus (3D Version 2013)
Michael L. Fink .... stereo conversion supervisor (3D version 2013)
Justin Jones .... stereoscopic designer (3D version 2013)
Rik Panero .... technical support (1998 release, credited on theatrical prints only)
Michael Pecchia .... director of global development: Prime Focus (3D version 2013)
Brian Peluso .... stereoscopic compositor (3D version 2013)
Neil Stenhouse .... lead digital film restoration artist (2009 restoration)
Chris Bayz .... digital paint artist (1998 restoration) (uncredited)
Kevin Braun .... digital compositor (1998 restoration) (uncredited)
Christopher Rogers Costa .... digital paint artist (1998 restoration) (uncredited)
Gregory Creaser .... camera operator: digital restoration (uncredited)
Chris Crowell .... digital compositor (1998 restoration) (uncredited)
Sandy DellaMarie .... digital production coordinator (1998 restoration) (uncredited)
Max Fabian .... director of photography: visual effects unit (uncredited)
Max Fabian .... special photographic effects (uncredited)
Chris Flynn .... digital compositor (1998 restoration) (uncredited)
Mark Freund .... visual effects supervisor (1998 restoration) (uncredited)
Jack Gaylord .... assistant visual effects supervisor (uncredited)
George Gervan .... digital paint artist (1998 restoration) (uncredited)
Richard Gervan .... digital paint artist (1998 restoration) (uncredited)
A. Arnold Gillespie .... visual effects supervisor (uncredited)
Maureen Healy .... digital paint artist (1998 restoration) (uncredited)
Heather Hoyland .... digital paint artist (1998 restoration) (uncredited)
Matt Linder .... lead digital compositor (1998 restoration) (uncredited)
Warren Newcombe .... director of matte painting staff (uncredited)
Michael Pecchia .... director of global development at prime focus (uncredited)
Candelario Rivas .... matte painter: castle (uncredited)
Rasha Shalaby .... digital paint artist (1998 restoration) (uncredited)
Jack Smith .... camera operator: visual effects unit (uncredited)
Lynn Tigar .... digital paint artist (1998 restoration) (uncredited)
 
Stunts
George Bruggeman .... stunts (uncredited)
Aline Goodwin .... stunt double: Margaret Hamilton, broom-riding stunt (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Allen M. Davey .... associate: Technicolor photography (as Allen Davey)
Virgil Apger .... still photographer (uncredited)
John Arnold .... camera department head (uncredited)
Pop Arnold .... key grip (uncredited)
Chris Bergswich .... assistant electrician (uncredited)
A.W. Brown .... chief unit electrician (uncredited)
Clarence Sinclair Bull .... still photographer (uncredited)
Eric Carpenter .... still photographer: Kodachrome stills (uncredited)
Bill Chapman .... still photographer (uncredited)
Sam Cohen .... camera operator (uncredited)
Nelson Cordes .... camera technician: Technicolor (uncredited)
Fred Detmers .... camera technician: Technicolor (uncredited)
Raymond Griffith .... electrician (uncredited)
George Hommel .... still photographer (uncredited)
Henry Imus .... camera technician: Technicolor (uncredited)
Paul 'Shug' Keeler .... electrician (uncredited)
Val O'Malley .... camera operator (uncredited)
W.E. Pohl .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Ray Ramsey .... camera operator (uncredited)
Cliff Shirpser .... assistant camera: Technicolor (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
W.L. Gordon .... casting assistant (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Mrs. Cluett .... costumer (uncredited)
Agnes Imes .... costumer (uncredited)
Sam Kress .... wardrobe supervisor (uncredited)
Rose Meltzer .... costumer (uncredited)
Vera Mourdant .... costumer (uncredited)
Sheila O'Brien .... wardrobe: women (uncredited)
Marianne Parker .... seamstress (uncredited)
Jack Rohan .... dresser: men (uncredited)
John Scura .... costumer (uncredited)
Gile Steele .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
Marie Wharton .... costumer (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Margaret Booth .... supervising editor (uncredited)
George Cave .... color timer (uncredited)
Ernest Grooney .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Tom Held .... second assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Harold Arlen .... music by
George Bassman .... orchestral and vocal arrangements
Bobby Connolly .... musical numbers staged by
Murray Cutter .... orchestral and vocal arrangements
Ken Darby .... orchestral and vocal arrangements
E.Y. Harburg .... lyrics by (as E.Y. Harburg)
Paul Marquardt .... orchestral and vocal arrangements
George Stoll .... associate conductor
Herbert Stothart .... musical adaptation
Leo Arnaud .... orchestrator: Munchkinland musical sequence (uncredited)
Edward Baravalle .... assistant scoring mixer (uncredited)
Peter P. Decek .... music recording engineer (uncredited)
Roger Edens .... music pre-recording supervisor (uncredited)
Nat W. Finston .... music supervisor (uncredited)
Skitch Henderson .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Bud Linn .... singing voice: Lollipop Guild (uncredited)
M.J. McLaughlin .... music mixer (uncredited)
William Saracino .... music editor (uncredited)
Toscha Seidel .... soloist: violin (uncredited)
Herbert Stahlberg .... assistant music mixer (uncredited)
George Stoll .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Herbert Stothart .... composer: original incidental music (uncredited)
Herbert Stothart .... conductor (uncredited)
Robert W. Stringer .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Roger Wagner .... assistant chorus director (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Henri Jaffa .... associate Technicolor color director
Natalie Kalmus .... Technicolor color director
Paul Adams .... stand-in: Mr. Morgan (uncredited)
Arthur Appell .... assistant: Mr. Connolly (uncredited)
Maud Gage Baum .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Eddie Becker .... rehearsal accompanist (uncredited)
Busby Berkeley .... choreographer: scarecrow's dance (uncredited) (deleted from final print)
Harlan Briggs .... double: Uncle Henry (uncredited)
Stafford Campbell .... stand-in: Scarecrow (uncredited)
William H. Cannon .... assistant: Mr. LeRoy (uncredited)
Betty Danko .... stand-in: Wicked Witch (uncredited)
Howard Dietz .... publicity chief (uncredited)
Roger Edens .... rehearsal piano (uncredited)
Frances Edwards .... caterer (uncredited)
Jim Fawcett .... stand-in: Mr. Lahr (uncredited)
Arthur Freed .... assistant to producer (uncredited)
Freddie Gilman .... animal trainer: horse (uncredited)
Aline Goodwin .... stand-in: Ms. Hamilton (uncredited)
Jane Harrison .... secretary: Mr. Fleming (uncredited)
Andy Hervey .... publicity chief (uncredited)
Jean Kilgore .... dance stand-in: Judy Garland (uncredited)
Bobbie Koshay .... double: Ms. Garland (uncredited)
Harry Link .... agent: Leo Feist Music Publishing (uncredited)
David Marks .... assistant script supervisor (uncredited)
Caren Marsh .... dance stand-in: Judy Garland (uncredited)
Dona Massin .... assistant: Mr. Connolly (uncredited)
Harry Master .... stand-in: Tin Woodman (uncredited)
Pat Moran .... stand-in: Mr. Lahr (uncredited)
John M. Nickolaus .... laboratory supervisor (uncredited)
Barron Polan .... assistant: Mr. LeRoy (uncredited)
Freddie Retter .... stand-in: Mr. Walshe (uncredited)
Bill Richards .... animal wrangler: birds (uncredited)
Si Seadler .... publicity chief (uncredited)
Leo Singer .... coordinator: Munchkins (uncredited)
Carl Spitz .... dog owner and trainer: Terry (uncredited)
Georgia Stark .... rehearsal assistant (uncredited)
Howard Strickling .... publicity chief (uncredited)
Norman Taurog .... director test scenes (uncredited)
Curly Twiford .... animal trainer: birds (uncredited)
Jack Weatherwax .... trainer: Terry (uncredited)
Frank Whitbeck .... publicity chief (uncredited)
Wallace Worsley Jr. .... script clerk (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated PG for some scary moments
Runtime:
102 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Black and White (Kansas sequences) (1949 re-release) | Black and White (Kansas sequences) (1955 re-release) | Black and White (Sepiatone) | Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System: The Voice of Action) | Dolby Digital (2005 re-issue)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Brazil:Livre | Canada:G (Manitoba/Nova Scotia/Quebec) | Canada:F (Ontario) | Canada:G (video rating) | Chile:TE | Finland:K-8 (1988) | Finland:S (1943) | France:U | Germany:o.Al. | Hong Kong:I | Iceland:L | Japan:G | Netherlands:AL (video rating) | New Zealand:G | Norway:A | Peru:PT | Philippines:G | Portugal:M/4 | Portugal:M/6 (DVD rating) | Singapore:G | South Korea:All | Spain:T | Sweden:Btl (cut) | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (tv rating) | UK:U (video rating: additional material) (2010) | UK:U (online) (2008) | UK:U (re-release) (2006) | UK:U (video rating) (1986) (1995) (2001) | USA:Passed | USA:PG | USA:PG (3D version) | USA:Approved (certificate #5364) (original release) | USA:G (re-rating) (1970)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The movie's line "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!" was voted as the #99 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100). "Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore" was #4. "There's no place like home." was #23.See more »
Goofs:
Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Dorothy uses the knocker on the door to the Emerald City, four knocks are heard although she only hits the door three times. The first is heard as she is drawing the knocker back.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Dorothy:She isn't coming yet, Toto. Did she hurt you? She tried to, didn't she? Come on. We'll go tell Uncle Henry and Auntie Em.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Over the RainbowSee more »

FAQ

What do the Witch's guards chant?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Was Dorothy's time in Oz a dream?
See more »
88 out of 108 people found the following review useful.
A Wiz of a film, if ever a Wiz there was, 11 August 2003
Author: DonFL

The NBC Peacock began unfolding its wings. "The following program is brought to you in living color--with portions in black & white--on NBC." That exclusive intro began my exposure to color television at Grandma's in 1968. When Dorothy stepped out into Technicolor, I'll bet my eyes just popped.

This is the Movie of All Time, folks--a status achieved during its long run as a huge annual TV event during that classic era whose programs now show up on TV Land network. In the 1970s, Peter Marshall once read the answer on Hollywood Squares as to the program seen more times by more people than anything else ever shown on television. It was "Oz." Likewise, no movie has the hold on popular culture that this one does. What lion character ever since (i.e., Snagglepuss) hasn't been an impersonation of Bert Lahr going, "Put 'em up, put 'em uuuuup!"

Few musicals offer an equal combination of lovable music and engaging story. Perhaps "The Sound of Music." Hard to think of many Hollywood musicals where the story gets as serious as it does here when the Witch informs Dorothy that, "The last to go will see the first three go before her...and her mangy little dog too!" Yikes! In contrast, even the best of other Hollywood musicals seem to serve up fluffy, forgettable story lines that are mere backdrop to the song numbers that typically put the plot on hold.

I can't say that "Oz" doesn't have technical flaws or story element inconsistencies. It's just that the astonishing production values all around so overwhelm the shortcomings. The tornado sequence is a 1939 special effects tour de force--incredible. And the Nutcracker-quality musical score offers songs tastefully interwoven with the action. Certain numbers like "Merry Old Land of Oz," I never get tired off, though I like each of the songs.

Oz should be viewed in the lightness of spirit that it deserves. I mean look, we have Frank Morgan as the Emerald City gatekeeper, then seconds later as the cabbie with the Horse of a Different Color, then the Wizard's palace guard, and then the voice of fire-and-smoke Wizard of Oz who bellows, "Step forward, Tin Man!" What other film could put an actor go through 4 quick-changes within 10 minutes to such an endearing result? "Oz" is as magic as those sparkling ruby shoes.

The early Technicolor process utilized triple nitrate negative strips--separately recording each primary color in light. This was done due to the lack of a suitable "color film" in 1939. That would quickly change--but films from years following suffered from hues that faded with the years, even original negatives. Because "Oz" was actually filmed on a black-and-white base film, the negatives never faded. So now we have home videos/DVDs of breathtaking color quality. Now, the tinted filters in the cameras that separated the colors onto the negative strips meant that intense illumination was required, rendering the filming experience miserably hot for the actors involved, especially Lahr. But they all hold up amazingly well.

"Oz" has a valuable message. As the pop group America once said, "No, Oz never did give nothin' to the Tin Man....that he didn't, didn't already have." If we have truly search, we can find within us--or create through trial, like the Lion's courage--what we think we most lack. The Wizard (like the Lord) helps those who find help within themselves.

I feel sorry for the Almira Gulches who can't treasure this film experience. They need to visit the Emerald City to get their own ticking Testimonials and find their hearts.

Didn't bring your broomsticks with you? Well, I'm afraid you'll have to walk.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
How did the wizard know? Videoguy7579
I keep forgetting how old this movie is jtptw22
Really suprised that it is #149 Wman1996
Didn't it seem like a longer film when you were younger? dmode112378
'If I Were King of the Forest' - unecessary song? joshyr-987-939529
Witch's Origins Threadkill
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